STHS baseball team on losing end of high-scoring affair |

STHS baseball team on losing end of high-scoring affair

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

South Tahoe High’s baseball team’s offense was clicking Tuesday night at home against Truckee, despite a chill in the air and some light drizzle. Unfortunately, the defense came up a little short as the Vikings lost a close one, 14-11, at Todd Fields.

After getting off to an early 2-0 lead, South Tahoe let Truckee slip back into it with a streak of walked batters.

With the score tied 2-2 in the second inning, things started to get crazy. Truckee’s designated hitter Nick Smith hit a double off Vikings pitcher Bobby Gienapp and two more runners scored to make it 4-2. Then, with the score 6-2 in the top of the second, STHS manager Doug Russell replaced Gienapp with reliever Troy Radke, who closed out the top of the inning with the score 7-2.

As if that wasn’t enough offense for the slightly shivering crowd, South Tahoe then went on a run of its own. Truckee pitcher Greg Gadsby let loose with a wild pitch, allowing the Vikings’ Noah Matteucci across for a 7-3 score. Then Marcus McKinnon’s hit scored Randy Hensen and another wild pitch got McKinnon across the plate for a 7-5 deficit.

A wild pitch also scored Bryan Engler. All told, the Vikings racked up nine runs, a majority unearned, in the bottom of the second inning, making for a total of 12 runs between the two teams.

On the rosy side of a 9-7 game, the Vikings’ defense then had a hard time containing the Wolverines’ determined offense.

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Truckee got three earned runs in the fourth inning to make it 10-9.

At 11-9 in the fifth, the Wolverines got two more runs off the bat of Smith and things seemed lost for the Vikings.

But, refusing to give up, South Tahoe’s McKinnon scored a run off an A.J. Russo hit and Jason Ames also scored a run to make it 13-11 going into the sixth inning. The Wolverines got another run off an error for a 14-11 lead in the seventh, but with bases loaded in the bottom of the closing inning, the Vikings couldn’t get that last big hit and Truckee’s relief pitcher J.R. Murphy put an end to the wild pitches.

Truckee manager Jason Estabrook, whose team is 4-6 on the season, was happy with a road win against a larger school.

“It was sloppy, but a win is a win so we’ll take it,” Estabrook said. “Offensively, we hit better than in past games, but we still need work on our pitching.”

Russell said his Vikings continue to be plagued by the same problem all season long.

“I was disappointed. It is the same story that has been haunting us all year: no defense,” he said. “We came back with an answer in that second inning, which I always like to see. Unfortunately, we just relaxed. I have to give Truckee a lot of credit. They were not satisfied and we were.”

Russell noted that McKinnon and Russo provided some much-needed offense. McKinnon scored three runs and Maes and Russo each had two. The Vikings’ season record is 2-11, with a home game coming up at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against North Valleys.

The South Tahoe junior varsity won 5-2.